Monday, June 10, 2013

Building the new fireplace

My dad has been coming over to help me build the surround for our fireplace.

So far here are the list of supplies:

Premium MDF 3/4x48x96  After researching blogs from other DIY bloggers, the winner seems to be premium MDF. Its very cheap at only $34 a large piece and has a very smooth surface thats ready to be painted. Our whole fireplace only required one large piece.

Very thin MDF board $4.50 at Homedepot

Liquid nails. Special glue for granite, tile, and wood.

Gorilla glue. I guess its like super glue for wood. It came highly recommended by my dad. He had two bottles laying around in my garage.

Clamps to keep wood together once glue has been applied.


1. Cut two pieces of MDF to the height and size that you want. My dad cut ours to be 60x10.

2. Cut two more pieces that are 4x60 and another set thats 3x60 to make a frame.  We had to cut one piece a little smaller (3x60) because we didn't remove the old tile so once placed over the old tile it doesn't sit flush. We also made a little cut on the bottom of the 4x60 piece for the baseboard.    

3. Using one piece from each size, make a frame for the sides of the fireplace using wood/gorilla glue and clamp them in place. We waited overnight for it to dry. 

 Once dried it should look like this. It should be completely flush against the wall. My dad also sanded the edges to make it smoother. You really don't need to sand the edges because I plan to add trimmings over the edges. 

The bottom should also have a small cut out for the baseboard so it will sit flush against the wall.

4. We went and bought another very thin MDF board to cover the top and bottom tiles. We decided to glue the board on the tile for now. I'm planning to make a small bump out on the very bottom thats why the thin MDF board didn't go all the way down. 

5. Cut the thin MDF to fit the top. Then cut a piece of wood/MDF for the top shelf and glue into place. At this point, I don't see anymore white tiles except the very bottom. 

6. Glue everything in place. Cut out another sheet of wood/MDF for the bump out and cut it to fit the bottom. We made our bump out to extend 4 inches from the side and 8 inches from the actual fire because thats the height and size that Emily likes to sit on. At this point the main frame of the fireplace is complete. 

Up next for the fireplace will include adding the top mantel with decorative molding that matches our kitchen cabinets, trimmings around the actual fireplace, chalking everything together so it will look nice when painted, priming the whole fireplace with Kilz primer, and finally painting everything white. 

At this point, the fireplace looks scary because its not complete. Usually when I'm in the middle of working on my projects, it will look extremely odd. Its always scary because I really don't know how my projects will turn out until the very end. My initial plan always changes because I continue to research inspirations and sometimes things just simply don't work out the way I want them.  Stay tuned for the finished fireplace. 


  1. it already looks so much better!
    I can't wait to see the finish product..
    love that your dad helping you.. i wish I have someone to built something for me :)

  2. thanks Kat. We really are lucky. My hubby isn't very handy so its nice to get my dad to help out. But i'm really tempted to learn how to use a hand saw. I might just have to buy a small hand held one. We will see...